Facts Corner-Part-150


  • It is Jamaican music originating from marginalized groups, mainly in Western Kingston. It was started out as voice of marginalized. But now it is played and embraced by wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups.
  • Recently the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has added reggae to its list of cultural institutions worthy of protection and preservation.
  • Each year, UNESCO adds to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and Jamaica submitted reggae for consideration earlier this year. The genre now joins a list of over 300 cultural traditions, including numerous musical ones such as Dominican merengue, Slovakian bagpipe music and Vietnamese xoan singing.

Global Wage Report 2018-19

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) has released Global Wage Report 2018-19. As per the report, women are paid the most unequally in India, compared to men, when it comes to hourly wages for labour. On average, women are paid 34% less than men.
  • The gender wage gap has remained unchanged at 20% from 2016 to 2017.
  • In advanced economies (G20), real wage growth declined from 0.9 per cent in 2016 to 0.4 per cent in 2017, meaning near stagnation. By contrast, in emerging economies and developing G20 countries, real wage growth dipped marginally from 4.9 per cent in 2016 and 4.3 per cent in 2017.
  • Inequality is higher in monthly wages, with a gap of 22 per cent.
  • Overall, real wages grew just 1.8 per cent globally (136 countries) in 2017.
  • In most countries, women and men differ significantly in respect of working time – specifically, that part-time work is more prevalent among women than among men.

Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957

  • “International policy has changed over the decades. While the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957, of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) insisted on an integrationist approach towards tribal communities, the 1989 convention insisted on a policy of non-intervention, “recognising the aspirations of these peoples to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and economic development.”
  • India ratified the 1957 convention but has not ratified the 1989 convention. However, despite not signing it, India tried to tread the path of non-interference.
  • Therefore it it puzzling that in August the government relaxed the restricted area permit (RAP) for 29 islands in the Andaman and Nicobar, including North Sentinel Island.”

Minsk Agreements

  • The Minsk Protocol (later known as Minsk-1) with the Minsk Memorandum of September 2014 and the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements (Minsk-2) are agreements between Ukraine and Russia to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.


  • Thorium has several advantages over Uranium as a nuclear power source.
  • Thorium is three times more abundant in the Earth’s crust than Uranium, and
  • many Thorium deposits contain other mineral resources of value (rare earths elements in particular).
  • All the Thorium that is mined can be used in a reactor, in comparison to less than 1% of natural Uranium that may be used.
  • Th-232 possesses a 14 billion year half-life, rendering it safer than Uranium and Plutonium.
  • Significant Thorium deposits exist in the United States, Brazil, India, and Australia; the total resource of monazite in India is 12.5 million tonne, which contains approximately 1 million tonne thorium metal.
  • The Kalpakkam Mini Reactor (KAMINI), which is in operation at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, is the only reactor in the world operating with Uranium- 233 fuel.
  • Thorium-bearing mineral monazite occurs in association with other Beach Sand Minerals (BSM) such as ilmenite, rutile, zircon, garnet and sillimanite in unconsolidated form along the coastal and inland placer sands of the country.
  • Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has identified and evaluated 128 BSM deposits in the coastal beach placer sands in parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and in the inland riverine placer sands in parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal. State-wise details of in situ monazite resource established by AMD

Flammable Ice 

  • Flammable Ice describes a frozen mixture of water and gas. It looks like ice crystals but if you zoom in to a molecular level, you see that the methane molecules are caged in by the water molecules.
  • Officially known as methane clathrates or hydrates, they are formed at very low temperatures and under high pressure. They can be found in sediments under the ocean floor as well as underneath permafrost on land. One cubic metre of the compound releases about 160 cubic metres of gas, making it a highly energy -intensive fuel.
  • As a country lacking any natural energy resources, Japan has been a pioneer in the field. Other leading countries are India or South Korea – who also don’t have their own oil reserves. While the US and Canada are also active in the field, they have been focussing on hydrates under permafrost in the far north of Alaska and Canada.

Elysium Planitia

  • The US space agency Nasa has landed a new robot on Mars after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet.
  • The InSight probe aims to study the world’s deep interior, and make it the only planet – apart from Earth – that has been examined in this way. InSight is now sitting on a vast, flat plain known as Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet’s equator. Before landing, Nasa had dubbed it the “biggest parking lot on Mars”.

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